Saturday, May 24, 2008

Don't Kill the Messenger

I'm preaching on Micah this week.  Micah is a "minor" prophet.  That means he wrote a short book and we don't know much about him.  But it is a good short book.  And I'm trying to write a good short sermon.  
The problem:  Micah contains long stretches of judgment and condemnation of the people he addresses.  He points out, in vivid and realistic detail, just how selfish and idolatrous and nasty they have become.  And nobody wants to hear that.  
So why say it?  Because if the people didn't come to terms with the mess they had put themselves in, they could never hear how God was going to deliver them from that mess.  So the bad news has to be heard before the Good News means anything.
And this is the problem with having a preacher like me.  No.  This is the problem with 
BEING a preacher like me:  I don't like conveying the bad news part of this bad news/Good News message.  And (at least I think this is true) no one wants to hear that part either.  Unless it is about somebody else.  In which case, it isn't bad news, it is good gossip.  But gossiping from the pulpit seems kind of tacky.  So . . .  what to do, what to do, what to do . . . 

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